For nearly 20 years Joella Miller has been making jewelry. Some of her products can be found locally at Flat River Gallery & Framing as well a small selection at Flat River Cottage. Always Wired Bead Lady features handmade bracelets, pendants, and earrings and more.
Miller has spent a lifetime enjoying a variety of crafting experiences. “I’ve dabbled in many things during my life I started sewing in 4H when I was 8 or 9.’ she says. But it didn’t stop there. “Since then I’ve played with a variety of things – quilting, cross stitching, stamping and card making, anything that had a creative bent.” While living in Wisconsin, Miller started making jewelry, inspired from a trip to Chicago where a red, beaded watch caught her attention. That also started her interest in creating jewelry of her own.
The business started off as The Bead Lady, however after some discussion with friends, her business name became The Wired Bead Lady before finally ending with Always Wired Bead Lady. Miller has a group of close friends who offered support and advice when it came to her business name which started in the mid 2000s.
The Fun and Challenge of Making Jewelry
Throughout her experience making jewelry, Miller has found a love for working with wire. This led to working with chainmaille. “A lot of these weaves are hundreds of years old but you can make them in a variety of ways – earrings, pendants and elaborate necklaces. I love to add Swarovski crystals to a lot of my pieces to add some sparkle.” she says of her use of this medium. Through networking with others all over the world using the variety of weaves available and online classes and tutorials Miller has been able to enhance her craft.
New this winter, bangles have been made and are available at Flat River Gallery & Framing. “That has been a lot of fun, especially using my hammers for texture.” Miller says of the new products. She also has ideas for cuffs and anticipates some stock being available for sale in mid-April.
Miller has participated in the Holiday Marketplace at LowellArts over the years. At the end of 2017 she stopped into Flat River Gallery & Framing, talking to a Patti Salka, a friend she had not seen in years. The visit inspired her to look into joining the gallery and selling her products. After going through the juried process where current members reviewed her work, they agreed adding Miller’s work would enhance the offerings at the gallery.
Making West Michigan Her Home
Miller and her husband, Don both grew up in the Lowell area. Don in Lowell and Joella in Saranac. For over 40 years the couple have been married and have spent their time in the area aside from 17 years in Wisconsin. Since 2012 they’ve been back in Michigan.
With the variety of style Miller offers in her jewelry, it should be easy to please many styles. But she also works on custom orders from time to time. In addition to seeing Miller’s products at Flat River Gallery & Framing and Flat River Cottage, Always Wired Bead Lady can be found on Facebook. Any questions can be sent through the Facebook page or direct email.